Voters Strike Down Switzerland Levy

Voters in Noble, Monroe and Belmont counties voted down a proposed 7.72-mill levy over five years to be used to help the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District avoid an operating deficit.

Voters in that school district, which spans the three counties and is the largest in Ohio in terms of geographic area, voted 3,135 opposed to 2,369 in favor to defeat the proposal.

The votes broke down as follows:

– 1,998 for and 2,602 against in Monroe County;

– 27 for and 81 against in Noble County;

– 344 for and 452 against in Belmont County.

The levy, as proposed, would have generated $15 million over the next five years for the school district. Superintendent John Hall had said the district is operating at a “bare bones” budget.

Voters in the district have not passed a levy since 1995, and the closure of the Ormet Corp. plant in Hannibal may force the district to make additional cuts, Hall said.

Those decisions and others affecting the Switzerland school district will be made by at least one new board of education member, as incumbent Janelle Comstock was defeated in seeking re-election. Jackie Hupp will join incumbent Edward Carleton on the board. Carleton received 1,894 votes, while Hupp received 1,759 votes, according to unofficial results.

Molly Davis received 1,756 votes with Comstock receiving 1,719 votes.

As for contested races in the county, in Woodsfield, Mike Cox, Dale English, Carol Hehr and Rick Shipp won seats on village council.

Four communities in the county passed levies, including Antioch, Beallsville, Clarington and Salem Township.

According to data from the Monroe County Board of Elections, 48.52 percent of those registered in the county cast a vote Tuesday. Of the 4,678 votes, 3,667 were cast Tuesday, while 1,011 were filed via absentee ballot.